My HOEM Life: Mercedes


What’s up, HOEMies?


My name is Mercedes and I am proud to be writing the very first HOEM student blog! Here, you’ll find articles written by students, for students.


As Ryerson’s newest residence, HOEM on Jarvis showcases the new face of student life. This year, our goal is to create an engaging online platform for students living at HOEM!


Thus far, the HOEM team has done an amazing job planning and marketing events that happen here at HOEM. Every week you’ll find something new to do, whether you’re getting a free massage, learning to use a sewing machine, or eating delicious treats at a HOEM Cooked event, you’ll never get bored here at HOEM!


I’d like to start off by telling you a little bit about myself, because I think there are a handful of students like me in this residence (and hopefully even more to come!)


I was born in Boston, Massachusetts to my loving parents, who at the time were working and attending school in Boston. We moved to Toronto when I was turning 7 years old after my dad got a job opportunity at the University of Toronto. I grew up in East York, which is east of Yonge-Dundas and west of Scarborough. I spent my whole life there, besides a quick seven month hiatus in Puerto Rico at the age of 13.


In grades 11 and 12, I resolved that I wanted to study journalism. I also decided that I wanted to live away from home. Disaster struck when I heard about Ryerson’s journalism program and completely fell in love. I could attend Ryerson, but I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to live in residence as I had hoped. I agonized over this– knowing that I had a slim-to-none chance of being accepted into one of Ryerson’s existing residences since there were so few of them. It may sound dramatic, but I was willing to reconsider attending Ryerson (for say, another city’s journalism program) just so that I could live in residence.


When I heard about HOEM, I could feel a glimmer of hope in my gut. Was it possible, that with upwards of 500 new beds, I might be able to have the best of both worlds? I applied for residence, bit my tongue, and waited.


The careful reader will already know what comes next… As soon as I was admitted for residence, I accepted. I didn’t want to jinx anything! I worked hard all year to gather the funding I needed to afford to live away from home, and I haven’t looked back since.


Living on residence has given me a new perspective on my life. I quickly made some of the best, most loyal friends of my young life. I’ve had the most fun I’ve ever had. I’ve learned how to be an adult (okay, I admit I’m still figuring this one out).


I’ve also had the opportunity to immerse myself deeply into my program and into the school. I was lucky to get two part-time jobs on campus (besides helping with HOEM social media!) in which I get to produce content such as blogs and vlogs for potential students. I get to share my story with current and future students, and for that, I am so grateful.


I suppose the moral of my story here is that I am eternally grateful to be living here at HOEM. Being downtown, being this close to campus, and transforming my life to fit my new surroundings has been one of the best experiences of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


With all that being said, welcome HOEM! I hope that this and other student’s blogs will inspire and excite you. As we take you along our journey, we hope that you too will find your happiness here at HOEM.


It’s an exciting ride, so hang on tight!


Mercedes Gaztambide

First-Year Journalism

HOEM Resident and Social Squad

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